|Today's post covers our recent visit to the BB King Museum in Indianola, Mississippi, B.B. King's hometown.
The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center opened on September 13, 2008. The museum features a restored brick cotton gin building in which B.B. Worked in the 1940s. The museum also contains an extensive collection of artifacts and explores King’s 60-plus year career through the presentation of Mr. King’s personal papers, materials, and objects from his life and work, along with cutting edge multi-media and film.
We started our journey through the Mississippi Delta and the life of B.B. King in a theater featuring the very latest in high-definition projection and audio technology. Next, the Delta 1930's display covered the challenges and heartaches that faced African-Americans in the early 20th century. The exhibit gives a taste of the social history of the time and a firsthand account of Riley B. King’s life on the farm as a sharecropper and tractor driver.
The Memphis 1950's gallery takes visitors on the path of Riley B. King finding his way to the airwaves of WDIA, the first radio station in the nation formatted to serve African Americans. We heard firsthand accounts of Riley’s conversion to the Beale Street Boy (later shortened to “B.B.”).
The Artist to Icon, 1960's forward gallery, chronicles B.B. King’s development from a musician touring the Chitlin’ Circuit in the South to the internationally recognized figure he is today. The exhibit examines how the Civil Rights movement shaped the music of the time. We also learned of King’s work with the underprivileged and disadvantaged.
Throughout the museum wonderful music & film clips kept us thoroughly entertained. He sure seems like a sweet, gentle guy!
We spent a couple of hours enjoying this small museum and then made our way next door for a nice lunch in an old gin mill before moving on down the road. The small entrance fee for this unique museum was well worth the stop. So if you get in the area, check it out. Would we drive 200 miles out of our way to see it? Probably not. But we're glad we were in the area!